Clip Art The history of the bowl cut.

Clip Art The history of the bowl cut.

Issue 48

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Arts & Culture

  • Words George Upton
  • Photograph Javarman

In hindsight, it’s surprising that the bowl cut didn’t make a triumphant return during the pandemic. If there was ever a moment for the archetypal do-it-yourself trim—staple of time-poor parents the world over, reviled by the children who had to sport them—it was when we were prohibited from visiting the hairdresser. Even the mullet made a comeback.

Perhaps this is because, more than any other hairdo, the bowl cut associates the wearer with a particular set of characteristics: a foolishness and imbecility exemplified by Moe Howard of Three Stooges fame and renewed for a new generation by Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber. Then there’s the hairstyle’s more recent association with the far right, after the bowl cut of the perpetrator of a mass shooting in 2015 became a neo-Nazi mem...

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